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Before downloading application - PLEASE see the sections of this page that discuss
GHF Qualifications and the Process involved in adopting from GHF
If you have a problem downloading the application - send an email to 
for the application in a Word format.


The popularity of the movie, Babe, and the agility shows on Animal Planet, have created a desire for many, many people to want a Border Collie as a pet.  So very often, our experience has been that children are driving this desire or some other rationale for having 'the smartest dog'.

While we encourage everyone to consider this breed, we also caution everyone on their traits.  This is a high intensity, brilliant dog capable of outthinking people, creating havoc and challenging you to no end.  They are not couch potatoes, content to wait until you come home.  They offer an unparalleled human/dog experience or a nightmare.  This is especially true of a young Border Collie.  
If you're heart is set on a Border Collie and your lifestyle doesn't match the intensity of a young dog, then please consider one age 5 and up...these are more like other dogs you've known.  The intensity is lessened to a more manageable level, albeit still no couch potato.  
In contrast to the purebred, we have found that Border Collie mixes are often ideal.  The dog is smarter than the norm, eager to learn and very, very alert but NOT as intense and with less interest in working, herding or nipping heels.  For many, many people, this is perfect.  
We'd encourage you to seriously look at your lifestyle and evaluate what blends together best.   A highly intelligent, easy-going, people friendly dog is what most people really want - the bc mix-  not an intense, maniacal, highly focused, over demanding dog - the purebred.  


We are happy to discuss your situation and the appropriate match for you since each dog requires something different.  However, we have specific criteria that we consider to be ideal for border collies or border collie mixes.  Please understand that in our experience, we feel this profile offers an incredibly satisfying life to a rescue dog.  Their life prior to a new home, has often been full of neglect whether it be in time or emotion and we feel it's our role to give them much, much more than what they've previously experienced.  There are exceptions to this list but by and large, we believe this breed thrives under these conditions.

(NY, NJ, VT, MA, PA, DE, MD, RI, CT, NH, ME, VA & SE Canada)

closed on Sunday


1)  Fencing is required - invisible fencing is fine.  Border Collies need to run freely and do not do well in small outdoor pens, tied out or roaming freely where they often chase cars, deer and/ or children on bikes, all of which have been reasons for dogs to be relinquished into rescue.  They do best on at least one acre where they can actively race around and engage in activities such as frisbee or ball chasing.  If yards are smaller, then other free run locations need to be available.

2) Children must be 7 or older.  Border Collies do not generally mix well with young children.  Contrary to some popular perspectives that they make excellent family pets, they do NOT.  They are highly intelligent and do not understand why anyone pokes them in the eye, pulls their tails, throws things at them or any of the other assorted actions children unknowingly take.  Many, many, many dogs enter rescue due to nipping, growling and snarling in these situations.  Children 7 and older have a more solid respect which the dogs respond very well to.


After two biting incidents with perfectly trustworthy dogs, we no longer are willing to take this risk under any circumstances.  If your child is 6, then a puppy could be considered but no adoptions with children under 7 otherwise.  Dogs perceive small children as other dogs, not humans with any authority, so when any issue arises, the dog will respond just as they would to make another dog go away...growl, nip or bite.  Once a child is old enough to have some authority, the dog can better understand 
the alpha orientation needed to create safe relationships.  
And, no matter how attentive a parent can be, there is no way to 
continually monitor children with the vigilance that is necessary.

3) Not left alone more than 4 hours, unless with another dog.  Border Collies are bred to bond with someone so being left alone for 8 - 10 hours a day deprives them of the stimulation mentally, physically and emotionally that they need.  The requirement for exercise and interaction is intense which leads many professionals to relinquish dogs to rescue because 'they just don't have time for them and what they need.  While many working people are excellent caretakers of dogs, we've found that the rescue dogs flourish when they can have companionship at a level they've never had.  The dogs bond deeply and they can blossom into stable, confident dogs.

4) Border Collie experience preferred:  If someone has experience with the demanding nature of the breed, they are given preference over someone who does not.  The reason being that until you experience the energy levels of these dogs, it's hard to clearly understand what's required.  We want to place dogs into homes ONCE, not have them bounce back because they are being a Border Collie for someone who discovers this dog is 'just too much to handle'.  On the other hand, many of the Border Collie mixes are perfect choices for people who want a smart dog but not necessarily an intense dog.  The mix, whether it be Labrador, retriever or whatever, tends to 'cut' the intensity a bit and allow for a more manageable dog

      at Glen Highland Farm

The adoption process is designed to match appropriate homes with appropriate dogs.  While many dogs may be attractive to the eye, we are very careful to understand the lifestyle of each adopter since we clearly understand the individual dogs in our care and not all border collies are the same. 

For example, we have many dogs that will not tolerate a quiet life, yet others that will thrive on it.  They are as individual as people in their personalities so we strive for the ideal life for them.

There are four steps in the process:

1) Fill out an application via online or fax, we pre qualify you via phone.  A reference check with be conducted and we'll have a conversation about dogs of interest as well as dogs we'd suggest fit best.  Questions you might have would be answered during this call.  (click here for application)

2) Visit with the dog(s), all family members should participate, including any other dogs. (Adoptions are by appointment only.   We welcome visitors (non-adopters) to the Farm but also by appointment only.)

3) The adoption then occurs.  A contract is signed which stipulates that any time during the dog's life, we will take the dog back if you cannot  keep them.

4) Follow-up is an important part of a successful adoption and we want to be a resource to help solve issues or questions as they arise, so there are periodic check-ins to say hello.

At Glen Highland Farm, each and All records of treatments and associated costs are provided to each adopter, as well as the necessary medical forms for the vet.  The adoption fee for each dog is $325 which goes toward the costs of all the dogs cared for at Glen Highland Farm.  
We are a non-profit, funded purely through donations and adoption fees.  


People often ask "will they be approved to adopt a dog from the Farm"?  So, this is written to help answer that question.  

If you come to adopt with an open heart to join hearts with another being and share a life with them, then possibly you’ll find your canine friend........    If you come to adopt expecting the perfect dog with no issues, then you will not be as likely to find your canine friend.

The dogs in rescue, by and large, are here because someone else has given up on them. For whatever reason, through their own fault or not, they are abandoned. Sometimes they have fear issues; sometimes they have never lived a normal loving life; and sometimes they are just fine and need another home because of problems their people are facing. Regardless of why they land at the Farm, they need you to be committed in the right way.

Do not come to adopt if you don't expect to put time and energy and money into working with a rescue dog. You will most likely need to hire a trainer. And, you will most likely endure problems in the beginning as the dog adjusts to a totally new life. Those problems might be chewing, peeing, pooping, barking, hiding or even growling. Change is not always easy for dogs. It is important to have patience and tolerance for understanding life from their perspective. They will not be perfect. Neither are you when you do something new.  There also may be medical issues that we cannot see which means you'll spend money you didn't expect to spend. You are not buying a new car, you are rescuing a living, breathing dog that needs care. All of us at the Farm have given our hearts, souls and wallets to insure these dogs leave healthy, happy and ready for a new life but, there are no guarantees. If you want perfect hips, perfect eyes and no problems, go to a breeder who checks all this out.

If you come to adopt understanding that the love in the hearts of these dogs is tremendous and unparalleled  when you connect with them, then you have the right perspective. If you can imagine what it feels like to be misunderstood your whole life, not wanted and not cared for properly, then imagine what it is like for someone to finally care enough to put the time into giving you what you need. That is why rescue dogs bond so deeply and so strongly when they find their person. Finally, someone understands who they are and what they are here to give to people. 

Rescue is really about YOU being rescued. About YOU digging deeper into your heart to work through whatever comes up, to unconditionally love a dog who is willing to unconditionally love you. If we all have a chance in life to truly experience the joy of real love between two beings, then possibly the human race has a chance to be rescued. It takes effort and hard work sometimes, to find real joy.  That is what we are looking for in adopters who come to the Farm: people who are here for the right reason. 


MEET TIGGER - our test cat
As we stated in our adoption procedures, we always test rescue dogs with a cat in order to insure they will join a new family safely, without harming the resident cat(s).  We've had fabulous luck - basically 100% - in our judgments thanks to our infamous test cat - Tigger.

You can see Tigger here in action, AFTER, a long bout of testing 8 dogs...he's ravenous for his treat! 

Tigger is a rescue cat who actually likes border collies, not those that chase him or bother him, but those that entertain him with all their continuous activities - herding, crouching, tug games, etc. etc. etc - he just loves to watch their nonsense!  So, after years of watching this breed, he's a very good judge of character!

Here's how it works - Tigger hangs out in our adoption office, waiting for the dogs to arrive.  He, by the way, is consulted on this 'job' of his to insure that this is what he wants to do.  So far, he's never said no.  So, he waits in the adoption office, usually up on the window sill.  The dog enters on leash and one of three things usually happens.  
1 - they  notice him and are very curious to see 'what' he is  
2 - they do notice him but seem uninterested   
3 - they notice him and are off to the races in pursuit (even though he hasn't even moved!)   
After the initial entrance test, they are led over to Tigger where the action intensifies or doesn't, whatever the case may be.  Tigger, by the way, is clearly in charge here, completely aware of whether his life is in danger or not.  When he purrs, it's quite obvious he's happy as can be, meeting another border collie.  Most of the time when he purrs, he then proceeds to nudge the dog, seemingly making friends.  Obviously, this means the dog passed the test.

So, for those of you who wondered how we can be sure, or at least, fairly sure.  
Here's what it's like when it doesn't work:

The dog strongly pulls toward Tigger...the hair on his back goes up...the dog is getting closer....he bolts...very familiar scene for a dog that is way too interested in cats for our taste.  
The other scenario goes like this:  The dog smells everything in the room and discovers Tigger, begins smelling intently and checking him out.  Tigger (the big difference) doesn't seem bothered at all, doesn't move and is still content.  This is a border collie that is curious (many are) and with supervision, will be just fine.  However, that doesn't mean that he/she won't chase the cat when they move, it just means they don't have heavy prey drive to hurt the cat.  
The last situation is this:  Dog enters; Tigger is calm, watching the dog, purring and interested, yet the dog actually avoids Tigger, completely intimidated.  That's obviously a great border collie to go with cats.

Our beloved Tigger has met 100's of border collies and border collie mixes and we are forever grateful for his enduring spirit in meeting these characters...thank goodness Tigger is such a good sport!

Contact the Farm
Glen Highland Farm
217 Pegg Rd, Morris, NY  13808
Phone: (607)263-5415  Fax:  (607)263-5325